Pomacanthidae Angelfish Diet and Feeding

Lemonpeel Angelfish

Angelfish members of the Pomacanthidae family are omnivores that feed on both marine plants and animals, but a large number of species lean towards being more herbivorous.

These fish munch and nibble constantly. Many people love macro and filamentous algae, whereas others prefer microalgae and diatoms. The majority of them eat tiny crustacean sea life, however other species only eat live sponges.

Those that rely only on sponges for nutrition may starve in captivity. If you want to maintain one of these species, you should go for a bigger juvenile or sub-adult specimen that has been consuming different meals. These individuals will adapt to prepared diets more quickly than extremely tiny juveniles or huge adults in most circumstances. They may be reared on a variety of frozen fares that contain edible sponges to supplement their meals, as well as other acceptable fares.

Many fish, like many other animals, have been observed imitating other fish when they watch them eating something. When you first introduce a new fish to your saltwater aquarium, they will be enticed to try the food if they observe another fish (especially one of the same or similar species) eating it.

One of the most difficult challenges to overcome with a new fish is that it may be overly stressed as a result of being collected, held for a period of time at the collector's site, then shipped to a trans-shipper where it may or may not eat or even be fed, then finally seen and purchased at your local fish store. In the best-case scenario, your new fish will have gone a week or more without eating before you bring it home. We've found that if a fish hasn't fed in a long time, it loses its appetite completely and refuses to consume even its favourite natural food. As a result, it's always a good idea to have the LFS employee who is attempting to sell you a fish show what the fish eats before you buy it. This applies to any fish, including those with a reputation for being simple to feed prepared meals.

Suitable Aquarium Foods

Angelfish should be introduced to a well-established aquarium with plenty of algae and other live rock growth to feed on, as this is the principal food source for most species in nature.

Providing this sort of environment promotes their natural eating tendencies, which helps them acclimate to commercial meals like Spirulina, nori, and other dry or frozen herbivore preparations. Vitamin-enriched and color-enhanced "marine" flakes, live brine or mysid shrimps, finely chopped dry or frozen crustacean dishes, and other appropriate foods are available for carnivores.

Foods that are not already vitamin-enriched can be soaked in a liquid vitamin supplement such as Selcon.

Suggested Feedings

2 or 3 times a day.

Reef Tank Compatibility

Angelfish nibble at large-polyped stony corals, zoanthids, and tridacnid clam mantles, and some may even pick at soft coral polyps or other sessile invertebrates. As a result, angelfishes should not be trusted in reef tanks, especially if these invertebrates are present. The Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish (Genicanthus melanospilos), a mid-water fish found in the western Indo-Pacific to Australia, is one notable exception.

Most Dwarf or Pygmy Angelfishes of the genus Centropyge, such as the (C. loriculus) and Potter's (C. potteri), are considered reef safe by aquarists. Regardless, there's no assurance they're trustworthy.

Refer to our and individual Angelfish Species Profiles for further information on which Angelfishes are ideal beginner fish and which ones to avoid.